to maroon breeder


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My maroons are 4 months old. I kept about 40 of them in a breeder net (6"x6"x6") hanging on to a main tank. Fish sizes are very different. I start getting some casualties of smaller fish lately. Should I separate the larger from the smaller ones? What kind of grow out tank do you guys use for maroon?

Maroons need to be crowded to 10 fish per gallon during grow out. This is the only way I know of to keep them from killing one another. You also need to put strong aeration on any potential territory, like heaters. The maroons need to be grown out without any territory to fight over. This means no decorations, live rock, etc.
I have some PVC pipes in the breeder's net right for them to hide. Should I remove these pipes completely before I can set up the grow out tank?
I guess I have been doing it all wrong. The first batch of about 30 maroons that I raised (they are also at 4 months now) are in a 10 gallon tank that has lots of macros, a little live rock and even a BTA. There seemed to be a huge spike in violence right around the 2 month mark, but they have settled down and there are actually not even any shredded fins anymore. All of the little maroons used to be obsessed with getting to the anemone and were good and crowded around that general vicinity. IMO if they had been more spread out through the tank they would have picked on individual fish to a much greater extent. I am currently down to 5 of those original 30 ( people here in Des Moines loved the babies and bought them all up around 3 months old) in the 10 gallon and there is still considerable harmony. There is a lot of posturing, but no nipped fins and a relatively peaceful environment. There are 2 that have taken up residence in the BTA, 2 that have decided to host in a patch of macros, and one that is in the middle of the tank by himself wondering if he has bad breath or what.
For long term grow out of large batches of maroons I think that packing them into an aquarium at high densities keeps the agression spread out, but when faced with a smaller number of clowns, it has worked for me to give them a battlefield so that they naturally congregate in that area and one clown is not overly picked on.
How about some photos BCJM! I will try to remember to bring some into work tomorrow to share.
Best of luck!
I should pause from time to time and consider that almost everyone on this board is dealing in tens and not hundreds or thousands. I agree with Greenwater that a 10 gallon would be plenty of space for 30 - 40 fish. In the interim my personal action would be to remove the PVC until you can get a 10 up and running to see if that might circumvent future mortality. You could attempt to segregate the smaller ones but it might be more trouble than it is worth. It seems like every batch has a couple of bullies, the hell of it is when you move out the bullies there are always new ones to take their place. Another good vessel for maroon grow out is a large Wal-Mart baby pool. Baby pools have way more surface area then depth but they provide ample space. Just a cheap expedient suggestion. Glad to hear of your success!
Ok Ok so we aren't as proficient at getting large numbers of clowns to maturity - but then again what would I ever do with so many babies. The scale of operation I am sure has a lot to do with how you can maintain the babies. I do not even want to imagine how you clean a baby pool - it is enough work trying to keep my larval tank in tip-top shape.
I just wanted to post a couple of pictures of my batch. This first one is at about 2 and a half months old.


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Touché' In looking at your pics, nice job, I didn't realize you had an anemone for them. My guess is that they play king of the mountain with the anemone and therefore don't have time to kill one another? BTW. 30 - 40 clowns is a very good number. Figure the average maroon nest to be 1500 eggs and you've got a 2.5% survival rate. This is real good considering the fact that your probably scooping on hatch night and not hatching remotely. Great idea with the anemone! It never would have crossed my mind!
Yep - I scoop on hatch night. I believe the most that I ever succeeded in capturing was about 250 and that took 2 hours. What a pain, but the pair lay on the same rock the anemone is attached to so there isn't much that I could do there. I just wish they would all decide to hatch at the same time instead of over 4-6 hours. I do not even turn the pumps off for the first 2 hours after dark as there just aren't enough to try scooping. It makes for a late night, but I have been very fortunate that over the last 3 months, they lay every other Thursday night and hatch every other Friday. It gives me time to get them going over the weekend and for me to catch up on some sleep.

Eco -
Do you still have some tank raised babies of any of your species or did you sell all of that off? I thought I remembered reading a post about 6 months ago that you were raising some bicinctus or some other fairly rare species (I am too lazy to go back and search right now.)
If you are averaging a 250 clown scoop rate then your numbers are very, very good. You are around 37%, which is awesome. Everything except for 15 mated pairs was sold. We had a rather large debt to cover. Good news is that of the clowns I transferred to my garage 10 pairs were either spawning or close to spawning. My hope is that after 6 months Iââ"šÂ¬Ã¢"žÂ¢ll be producing and raising some limited spawns of A. bicinctus, akindynos, bicinctus, leucokranus, allardi, and fiji melanopus. My hope is to be able to provide some of these clown species direct to folks on this board. Iââ"šÂ¬Ã¢"žÂ¢ll keep everyone posted. If you ever get to the point where you have several hundred clowns you need to off load let me know as I still have all the wholesale contacts.
Well I am happy to hear that you were able to keep some of your breeding pairs. Let us know when you have some juveniles available to send out.
Thanks for the offer of a contact when I have several hundred excess clowns. How old would these clowns have to be? Not that I am planning to do get that many going now, but maybe when things slow down after the summer, I may get real ambitious and try something crazy like that.
Oh and how does the fiji melanopus differ from the standard? Less black on the sides?
The clowns should be 3 ââ"šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ 4 months past metamorphosis. The Fiji melanopus is bright red to red/orange. Iââ"šÂ¬Ã¢"žÂ¢ll post a pic when I get a chance.
Wow, I am just starting to raise gold striped maroon clowns and I found your statement of 10 clowns per gallon surprising.
I have been lucky enough to watch the second clutch laid and fertilized yesterday and will be transferring them in about 8 days to hatch out in a 5 or 10 gallon tank until after metamorphosis.
This clutch looks to be about 1200 eggs all nice and neat on a ceramic tile. Until I become more proficient at raising the larvae I'm expecting catastrophic losses of 50-75%. With that said, I should probably rear them in a 60-65 gallon tank ?
10 per gallon does sound extreme, but if you have a couple hundred you are presented with a slight space problem. Good luck with your hatches.


Pic of Fiji melanopus.


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I wanted to jump in and ask (any of you)...

Did you purchase mated pairs or did you pair them yourself? How long did it take for the clowns to start spawning? Were they in with other fish or did you set up, originally, to breed them?

Just trying to get some "real-life" accounts! Anything would be much appreciated.
I got really lucky, I started to spread the word that I was looking for a mated pair. A friend of mine was at an LFS and saw a pair that were not only mated but had spawned in the LFS's tanks. The owner of the LFS was really happy to see them go as they had actually spawned in his tanks twice and he wasn't too happy with what it had done to his parameters, not ot mention the fact that he was selling fish not raising them.
Well, after the move to my house it was almost 6 months to the day for the first clutch, that was just over two weeks ago.
Thanks for the photo Eco.

RobDean2 - I did not purchase mine as a mated pair, but as two individuals 3 months apart. After being together for 9 months, they started spawning. I did not set my tank up with the sole purpose of raising clowns, there are other fish and soft corals in the tank. My tank is not the ideal set up for breeding clowns as there is no way for me to remove the rock that the eggs are laid on, so it is a tedious task to remove the larvae. If you are interested in the breeding aspect only, I would recommend a set-up like you can see in Eco-tropics picture of the Melanopus above.

Thank you for the picture. Is Fiji Melanopus rare and hard to find? Wondering why do you choice that to breed.

Fiji melanopus is about as difficult to find as sandaracinos. They are usually available in the summer. I've had the aforementioned pair for about 5 years. The reason I've kept them is that they started spawning two days after they were first acclimated and have never missed a day since. I just couldn't bring myself to get rid of them. BTW, the larvae from this pair have been the easiest to raise of any clowns ever had.